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Marriage vows should include "to preserve, protect & defend" the marriage

Kelly Roberts, a Ph.D. candidate in family therapy and policy, has been studying marriage vows. She writes:

... they have pledged their faithfulness to “the supreme relationship status”...   But I wonder, would vows be measured and stated any differently if the phrase, “to preserve, protect and defend” were to be included?  ... Relationships do better when a couple can set boundaries and bottom lines against entities that threaten their substance.  Relationships to better when there is safety provided and safety expressed among and between the two.  And relationships do better when either person knows that loyalty exists, and their honor or heart or hopes and dreams will be defended by the other if threats become present from an outside source.

Relationships do better when their oath of office includes preserving, protecting and defending.  And people can thrive and grow when they know their partner has their back.

More at "Preserve, Protect and Defend: A Credo for Our Intimate Relationships"




I get that the idea is to change the way we view marriage, and I think it's a good one, but the more fundamental issue is that the vows. like too many other things, are unenforceable. The whole institution has been undermined by a total lack of judicial certainty of outcomes. Contracts and agreements of any sort are bad when the terms are unclear and its anyone's guess what a judge, subjected to limited judicial review, will find "equitable." Maternal bias is rampant, and given wings by flawed domestic violence research, but the winner take all nature of divorce is increasingly making it a game of Russian Roulette for women too.

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